Saturday, August 28, 2010

What is Judeo-Christian? How does that align with John 14:6?

The following is an article written by CR Dickey sometime between 1938 and 1967 - Article from Biblical Treasures (Volume I) – C. R. Dickey. For more information on her from the editors of Biblical Treasures (Volume I), refer to the bottom of this post.

The question asked is "what is Judeo-Christian" as so many site America's founding as and how is that so in light of John 14:6?


One of the strangest and most inexplicable movements in approximately two thousand years of Christian history is developing rapidly and almost imperceptibly in our midst at this time. Scan the church notes and news items of lectures in any large daily newspaper for abundant evidence of the reality and growth of an amazing confederacy of Jews and Christians. Jewish Rabbis are frequent speakers in Christian pulpits. The National Conference of Christians and Jews has become a going concern which influences the policy for the major portion of American Protestantism.

Unthinking church laymen accept this situation without even feeling the need of a shock absorber. To them it seems a friendly gesture based upon brotherly love and mutual goodwill. Christian ministers and laymen sit at the feet of Rabbis today rejoicing that they are not as the narrow-minded publicans and sinners. They feel virtuous and proud because of what they term their liberality and tolerance. If an earnest Christian, who cares more for discovering Divine truth than for the tradition of men, ventures to point out the incongruities of such fellowship he is pounced upon with charges of religious bigotry and racial prejudice.

It is not necessary to beat a retreat in the face of such charges if one can be sure that his position is supported by the teachings of the Scriptures. Truth may be “crushed to earth” for a time, but it is sure to “rise again” as inevitably as the handwriting on the wall by the finger of God. In any discussion of this subject there is only one important thing to consider and that is the message of the Bible. What does the Christ of Christianity have to say about this problem? What counsel regarding this matter did the Lord’s chief ambassadors leave for our edification?

Before attempting to answer these questions, let it be understood throughout this discussion that the writer is voicing no personal prejudice nor dislike of the Jewish people. Neither is it stated or implied that all Jews approve of the motives and methods of certain leaders among Jewry whose activities, if not curbed, will bring both Judaism and Christianity into further disrepute among men and into a greater measure of Divine judgment. Let us keep in mind also that leaders of Protestantism who disregard the counsel and warnings of our Lord are equally guilty in making alliances detrimental to His church. As these Protestant officials do not truly represent the main body of Christian believers, so do we recognize that officials of Jewry may fail to represent the majority of their people. While our Lord denounced the crafty and designing officials, He had compassion on the multitude. His example inspires the intent of this discussion.

The Apostle Paul, master interpreter of the Gospel, writing to the Galatian Christians, sounded a warning that could not have been more timely for the day in which it was written than it is for our generation:

”Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1.)

Now what was this “yoke of bondage?” It was the saddling of Judaism to the Christian church. Everywhere Paul carried the Gospel of Christ he was followed by Jewish enemies who attempted to control and confuse the Christians. His entire Galatian letter is a powerful dissertation and warning against the entangling alliances of Jews and Christians.

That Jewish leaders are making friendly overtures to Christian churches is evident throughout the country. They are subtly identifying themselves with Christians from the pulpit, on the lecture platform and in the press. A prominent Jewish writer and lecturer is quoted by a reporter as saying in a lecture recently, “Between Christians who are Christians and Jews who are Jews, there can be no differences; we want the same things.”

A Rabbi, claiming to be a pastor of the first American Hebrew-Christian Synagogue, speaking in a church, made the following statements which are quoted at random from notes made at the time: “We have combined Judaism and Christianity….The Jews have their sects, Pharisees, Sadducees, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, etc., today the same as in Jesus’ day….The Rabbis have changed the Old Testament….I lived my whole life without the Bible….The Rabbis consider the Talmudic law more important than the Bible. They use the Torah and Talmud instead of the Bible. The background of the New Testament is Talmudic teaching.”

It was a strange sight to behold in a staid old church, but the Rabbi made a brotherly love plea, then took up a collection and guileless Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists gave contributions to carry on the spurious work of combining Judaism and Christianity.

Let us now compare a few statements from the Lord Jesus on this subject: “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Saducees. Beware of the scribes.” Luke, in Chapter 20, tells of the chief priests, scribes and elders coming to Jesus questioning His authority. Jesus told the parable of the wicked husbandman and concluded with these words:

"He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.” (Luke 20:16a.)

Now study the result which followed:

"And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected. The same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on Him; and they feared the people for they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them. And they watched Him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of His words, that so they might deliver Him unto the power and authority of the governor.” (Luke 20:16b-20.)

Matthew 15 records another controversy between Jesus and the leaders of Jewry:

"Ye hypocrites, well did Esais [Isaiah] prophesy unto you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men….Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt. 15:7-9; 12-14.)

From a most casual reading of the Gospels, it is evident that Jesus never identified His work with the program of organized Jewry. If in doubt about this, read carefully John 8. Among many significant statements on that occasion ponder these two statements:

"Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me….He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8:42 & 47.)

Paul did not identify himself and his work with Judaism after his conversion. He makes this clear in the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians:

“Ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who…called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem.” (Gal. 1:13-17.)

In 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, Paul adds further evidence on this point:

”For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own country men, even as they have of the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”

Peter almost became entangled at one time but was set on the straight and narrow path by Paul who tells us:

”I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” (Gal. 2:11.)

Some readers may resent the placing of twentieth century Jews in the same category with first century Jews. Have they not changed in 2,000 years? And does not this classification pronounce harsh judgment upon our fellowmen? There have been changes, to be sure --- but not in unregenerate human nature. And it ought to be possible to face facts without passing judgment, harsh or otherwise. Perhaps we can get a clearer perspective by asking some other questions. Have the radiance, power and fruitfulness of those first century Christians been improved during 2,000 years of experience? On the contrary, we find ourselves struggling in the midst of our modern civilization to duplicate the courage and spiritual power of those first Christians. Then again, has sin changed or disappeared in the course of twenty centuries? Is unbelief any different now from what it was when Jesus walked among men? Have the results of rejecting Christ undergone any perceptible changes?

If Christ only has power on earth to forgive sins and regenerate human lives, will someone explain by what process the Jews of today, who still reject Him as Redeemer, have become essentially different from what they were in 30 A. D.?

One need not hesitate to affirm that the leaders of Jewry are not carrying on God’s work, regardless of how pious they may seem, because Jesus says if they were doing God’s work they would recognize Him as the promised Son of God. Do not be deceived by the complimentary things which certain Rabbis and writers are saying about Christianity. Notice that, while they are getting quite “chummy” with Jesus, the man, they are as far away as ever from the Christ who is to take the throne of David and reign over the house of Jacob forever. Matthew tells us:

"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ?” (Matt. 22:41-42.)

The Jews are still silent on that question.

In the record of events leading up to Peter’s denial of Christ, we read:

”Peter followed Him afar off, even into the palace of the high priests: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.” (Mark 14:54.)

This suggests to one’s mind that the palace of the high priest was the farthest point of departure from the Lord. Evidently Peter went in at the back door to sit with the servants. The times do change men’s methods. Today the chief Rabbis are invited to take the seats of honor in the Lord’s sanctuary; though still unbelievers, they sit among the counselors and take part in directing the program of His blood-bought church.

In former days the controversies between Jews and Christians centered in circumcision and in the Talmudic interpretation of laws and ordinances. Modern Jews are not concerned so much about these ancient problems. The emphasis has changed. Now their interest is centered in persuading the Christians to set aside the authority of the Scriptures, substituting therefore “liberalism” --- meaning what? --- atheism and paganism camouflaged.

This is the snare which has most intrigued the leaders of Protestantism. Several volumes could be written about the results that have been accomplished already along this line; for example, the sowing of false doctrines through universities and seminaries into every American hamlet; the control of publicity channels; the propagation of such movements as the Fellowship of Faiths where the Son of God is reduced to the position of understudy of Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Indian fakirs, and Persian Bahaists.

A chief Rabbi, speaking recently at a Business and Professional Women’s Club dinner, stated as one of her objectives the “elimination of unfair and untrue statements about Jews in Sunday school literature” --- obviously meaning by this that certain teachings of Jesus must be barred from publication in Christian literature. The work of deleting the Scriptures is under way on a big scale; one such abbreviated Bible, published by a Jewish firm, is being widely advertised by Christian publications and its circulation further enhanced by the Book-of-The-Month-Club offering it as a gift. Attend a meeting in a Christian church which is to be addressed by a Rabbi and observe how the ministers select the hymns, the Scripture readings and the prayers to fit the tender sensitivities of the Jewish brother. All mention of Christ is painstakingly avoided in deference to the visitor. Does God laugh or weep at such strange reversion on the part of men who claim to be redeemed by the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary?

Strange to say the present objectives of Jewry are not new. They bear a striking resemblance to those met by Paul. Writing to Titus, Paul advised:

”For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” (Titus 1:10-11.)

Then he cautioned Titus to warn the Cretians:

”Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:13-16.)

The Scriptures abound in warnings against Christians forming entangling alliances with unbelievers of all kinds --- Jews and non-Jews:

”Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8.)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (II Cor. 6:14-17.)

Christian leaders must either separate themselves from the evil influences of the enemies of Christ or be overcome by them. The promotion of Jewish-Christian relations on the basis of present-day trends is unfair to the Jews themselves, who will never be brought to a saving knowledge of Christ by such unscriptural methods.

The answer to a vital question is hanging in the balance --- Will Protestantism continue to stand fast in the liberty of Christ, or, will it become increasingly entangled in the bondage of modern Judaism?

The Staff at Destiny Publishers, having read all the articles written by the late C. R. Dickey (Christina R. Dickey) found in DESTINY Magazines from July 1938 to October 1967, received such a blessing from her writings that we wanted to share the information with all who are seeking God’s wonderful truths. We are hereby publishing all her articles in two volumes, which we believe you will find most inspiring and of genuine interest and value.

Her knowledge of the Scriptures was unbelievable so she must have had a very close association with her Lord, as she certainly became a champion for His cause.

Our late beloved editor, Howard B. Rand, realized her talent as he published many of articles in booklet form.

The reader should take into account the time element when each article was written, which was from the late thirties to the middle sixties. We found her articles to be up to the minute as though she had written them yesterday. Her writings on various subjects are backed up with Scripture verses, as well as with quotes from reliable sources, when making a point. From her writings, the Lord surely made use of her God-given talents.

Although we do not have any knowledge of her background, we do know that she was a Congregational minister. Her sermons given must have been of interest and value to her congregation. We are sure her articles contained in this book will do the same.

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Very good article. If I may perhaps parse some wording, I would question the term 'alliance' in referral to the relationship between Jews and Christians, and make the point that 'alliance' intimates a political relationship. This, in my opinion, is quite acceptable and doesn't violate Paul's warnings against "the Jews' religion". Qualifying that I would add that the more applicable term would be "fellowship", which is indeed a spiritual intimation as opposed to a political alliance.

I too am somewhat distressed by the movement of some Christians and their churches toward ecumenicalism wherein is taught that the Jews don't need Jesus Christ to be saved, simply because they are Jews. This same mindset is reflected by major "mainstream" churches who have instituted their "Abrahamic Initiative" which teaches that not only are Jews and Christians to fellowship, but brings in Muslims as well. One large church in Denver actually has on staff a Muslim cleric from a mosque who teaches in their church.

I appreciate your site, Gina. Godspeed!